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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

How To Be A Happy Camper

February 24, 2011 3:57 am | Articles | Comments

Outdoor Gear Manufacturer discovers rugged flexibility of modular conveyors When an outdoor gear manufacturer developed a new concept for manufacturing ice substitutes and handling scrap plastic, it needed several special conveyors to bring it to fruition. After using traditional conveyors for years, engineers at the facility wanted conveyors that were adaptable to other projects, because they felt that using conveyors designed for other tasks compromised the success of the operation.

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Food And Jobs On Jobs

February 23, 2011 11:22 am | by Mike Rainone, Co-Founder, PCDworks | Articles | Comments

I came across a few things in life that bear comment this month. One leads into the same rant from last month about Silicon Valley. The other is an optimistic story about my recent experience at the National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers show in Orlando. I noticed last week on the  PD&D  feed, President Obama was assembling the biggest names in Silicon Valley to confer on jobs, education, and innovation.

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Americans Get Too Tied Up In Gadgets

February 23, 2011 9:03 am | Videos | Comments

A new survey with MSNBC and Reader's Digest shows that more Americans than ever are inextricably connected to their gadgets. With more than 95 percent of respondents with access to a computer, it's clear that we're downing as much digital media as possible. Are we getting too connected? Visit msnbc.

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Hail Cannons: Pseudoscience Or Crop-Saver?

February 23, 2011 8:08 am | Videos | Comments

For decades, farmers have been using acetylene-powered "hail cannons" as a method to protect their delicate crops from the devastating effect of hailstorms. They function, on a basic level, by generating shockwaves that aim to break up falling hailstones. Now in smaller pieces, the fragments melt quickly and fall as rain.

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We Are All 'Makers'

February 23, 2011 8:07 am | Videos | Comments

At TED@MotorCity, Dale Dougherty, publisher of MAKE , talks about the American tradition of being "makers": the people who play, interact, develop, and innovate new technology, even if only for fun. We can't help but agree with the importance of being "makers." If more people were encouraged to be creative with technology, we wouldn't have the major skilled worker shortage in manufacturing, and we would better be able to continue technological innovation, which helps create jobs and business for the American public.

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Why Is Glass Transparent?

February 23, 2011 8:06 am | Videos | Comments

Why is glass transparent? Seems like a dumb question, right? Perhaps, but I would wager that most people don't know the real reason. Thankfully, Sixty Symbols  regular Professor Phil Moriarty is here to save us from our ignorance with an explanation that involves photons, electrons, and a little something known as the "electron gap.

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U.S. Investigates Toyota Highlander Hybrids For Stalling

February 23, 2011 3:49 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government has opened a preliminary investigation into reports of stalling engines in more than 40,000 Toyota Highlander hybrids. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website it had received 32 complaints alleging stalling engines in Highlander hybrids from the 2006 model year.

Apotheker: HP Has Grown Too Big For Its Own Good

February 23, 2011 3:40 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co.'s new CEO Leo Apotheker delivered some disappointing news to Wall Street on Tuesday after his first full quarter with the technology company. Revenue growth, a persistent worry for companies of HP's size, will be slower this year than many analysts had envisioned.

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Chinese Manufacturer Accuses Motorola Of Selling Its Secrets

February 23, 2011 3:33 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei has won a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court barring Motorola Inc. from transferring business secrets in a planned deal with Nokia Siemens Networks. The order by a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday prohibits Motorola, which is a vendor of Huawei equipment, from transferring any confidential information about the Chinese company pending resolution of the dispute.

Detroit Mayor Bing: Yes, We're Making A Comeback

February 23, 2011 3:25 am | by Corey Williams, Associated Press | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — For at least one night, Detroit's troubled economy, blighted neighborhoods and budget problems played second fiddle to Mayor Dave Bing's guarded optimism that the Motor City slowly is driving toward a better future. Bing's annual State of the City address Tuesday night even opened with a popular Chrysler 200 sedan television ad that makes no apology for Detroit's grittiness and features a voiceover that says the city has survived going through "hell and back.

Ford Cracks Under Pressure, Recalls 150,000 F-150s

February 23, 2011 3:23 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under government pressure, Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will recall nearly 150,000 F-150 pickup trucks to fix air bags that could deploy without warning. The recall covers trucks from the 2005-2006 model years in the United States and Canada for what the auto company calls a "relatively low risk" of the air bag deploying inadvertently.

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Alcoa's CEO Sees Compensation Rise To $12.3 Million

February 23, 2011 3:20 am | by Joshua Freed, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The CEO of Alcoa Inc. saw his compensation rise about 10 percent last year, to $12.3 million, as the aluminum company posted its first full-year profit after two years of losses, according to an Associated Press calculation from the company's proxy statement. The salary for Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld was unchanged at $1.

Comdust Safety Standard Stumbles

February 22, 2011 10:46 am | by Luke Simpson, Associate Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

The NFPA 654 committee is working on “emergency” interim changes after the updated combustible dust safety standard was rejected by its members. National Fire Protection Act (NFPA) 654, the standard for the prevention of fire and dust explosions from combustible particulate solids, is facing a number of hurdles.

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Prevent Falls With A Post

February 22, 2011 8:45 am | Product Releases | Comments

Miller Fall Protection (Franklin, PA) announces the new Miller Fusion Roof Anchor Post, which is a versatile single-point anchor that adapts to a wide range of roof designs, including seam, membrane, metal sheathing, concrete, and wood. Additional features include: A quick, easy attachment to the roof surface, which reduces installation time by more than 50 percent.

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A Better Way To Sump

February 22, 2011 8:43 am | Product Releases | Comments

The CB6 walk/ride base, from Cecor (Verona, WI), combines a sump cleaner with powered transport for long hauls between collection and disposal or treatment. The base can maneuver easily through narrow aisles, around tight corners, and provides work positioning. Operators can also walk and maneuver the sump cleaner into tight areas.

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USDA-Approved Vacuum Conveyors

February 22, 2011 8:42 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

Vac-U-Max (Belleville, NJ) manufactures the Vacuum Conveying Equipment and Systems, which are constructed of USDA-approved materials. The vacuum conveyors range in rates from 500 pounds per hour, to 5,000 pounds per hour, and beyond. They can also be equipped with loading tablet press machines, mix tanks, and blenders.

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Acid-Resistant Epoxies

February 22, 2011 8:42 am IMPO Product Releases | Comments

The EP21ARHT two-component epoxy from Master Bond (Hackensack, NJ) was developed for coating and lining storage tanks, piping, scrubbers, and processing equipment. According to the company, it can withstand chemicals, fuel, and acids, and can survive immersion in 96 to 98 percent sulfuric acid or 20 percent hydrochloric acid for more than a year.

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This Week's Job Market: Some Good, Some Bad

February 22, 2011 3:55 am | News | Comments

230 to be laid off from NC Slim Jim plant  GARNER, N.C. (AP) — ConAgra Foods Inc. is laying off 230 workers from a Slim Jim production facility in North Carolina that was damaged during a deadly explosion in 2009. The Omaha, Neb.-based food manufacturer has notified state officials in a letter released Monday that the layoffs will take place in the middle of April.

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U.S., Europe Battle Over Massive Japanese Jet Contract

February 22, 2011 3:43 am | by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press | News | Comments

TOKYO (AP) — In a deal that could be worth billions of dollars and determine one of the primary fighter jets in Asia for decades to come, European aircraft makers are trying to convince Japan to do something it has never done before — snub America. U.S. planes have long been Tokyo's overwhelming favorite, but Japan appears to be wobbling under a strong sales pitch for the Eurofighter Typhoon, coupled with problems and restrictions that have made the American alternatives less attractive.

None Hurt After Lightning Ignites Explosion At Iowa Plant

February 22, 2011 3:37 am | News | Comments

OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — An explosion Sunday morning at a feed plant north of Oelwein was likely sparked by a lightning strike, a fire official said. No injuries were reported in the blast at the International Ingredient Corp. facility. Oelwein Fire Chief Wallace Rundle said six people were inside the plant but got out safely before firefighters arrived.

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